Anyone who has gone down this plant-based path for a while usually feels compelled to tell EVERYONE just how good they feel, especially if they are seeing improvements to their own health.
"The weight is dropping, the blood pressure is dropping, the blood SUGAR is dropping, why isn't EVERYONE doing this?!?"
But here's the thing.... not everyone is going to want to hear it. Especially the people you feel could benefit the most, and even more so, it seems, family.
This is my stepdaughter, whom I have affectionately known for the last 26 years.
Stepping in and being a stepparent is one of the hardest things in the world, and unfortunately, there's no instruction book so we do the best we can. So let's just say our relationship over the years has been.... complicated.
Nevertheless, I love her dearly.
Apparently so does that little smoochie guy next to her, and it wasn't long after he was born that she started feeling the stomach pains. She struggled over the next 3 years or so, constantly seeing doctors, trying to figure out exactly what was going on, and eventually wound up in the hospital with severe stomach pain and a diagnosis.
Crohn's is an autoimmune disease, where the body turns on itself - in this case, her intestines. It got so bad, she ended up having about a foot of her small intestines surgically removed. And since there is no known cure for Crohn's, to keep it at bay, she was put on a biologic drug called Humira®, which suppresses the immune system.
Of course, 'they say' there's no cure, but over the years I have read one anecdotal story after another, of people who HAVE cured - oh wait... "put their Crohn's in permanent remission" ... by switching to a plant-based diet.
I mean it makes sense that if this is a diet-related disease, which many experts think it is, then a diet change could possibly make it better, right?
So you better believe I have been trying to get her to at least look at the science but sadly, she felt the Humira® was working, so why take the chance?
"If it ain't broke...don't fix it"
Fast Forward to 2022
After 5 long years of dutifully taking this drug, my stepdaughter recently texted me, ironically enough as I was writing about my own battle with depression/anxiety, and said she was tired of being sick.
Whether it's a worsening of her autoimmune disease or a side-effect of the drugs we're not sure - but she NOW has Rheumatoid Arthritis AND just went through Menopause - all at the ripe old age of 35 yrs old.
She finally got sick and tired enough of being sick and tired - and was reaching out for my help.
When I told her I was going to try and eat a little differently to get off of MY meds (Wellbutrin) - she asked me a question that literally brought me to tears.
She said, "Are we going to do this thing together?" ?
The very next day we went to Whole Foods (her choice - not mine) and I taught her how to shop for the produce, the veggies, the fruits, read the labels, all of it. When I mentioned green smoothies she even went to Costco and bought a Vitamix on the spot.
I couldn't believe my eyes! She was actually DOING IT!!
And The Results?
She told me the other day it has been 4 weeks now of NO cheating, and she's lost 8 pounds AND significantly reduced the swelling (inflammation) throughout her entire body.
She said she feels better than she has in years!
She jokingly said, "You know - you should put this stuff on a tee-shirt!". I replied, "You mean like this? I DO have merch you know!"
And I sent her to https://brandnewvegan.creator-spring.com
I think she was a little shocked that I actually had my own merch store ?, but she absolutely LOVED the hoody so I told her I would buy it for her - a graduation present if you will. She wore it to work today.
And another Brand New Vegan is born ?.
She still has Crohn's & RA, and she's still taking her meds, but I have every confidence her lifestyle change will enable her to not only heal her body from the inside out - but one day allow her to stop the drugs altogether.
The moral of the story: Don't give up. Just because they don't hear you TODAY, doesn't mean they won't hear you SOMEDAY.
Thanks for reaching out to me that day sweetie, I love you 3000 - D2.
Charmaine J LANJOPOULOS
Sometimes it feels like we are dripping water to wear away at stone! But yes Congrats to her and to you for this chance to take the right steps and let the healing begin
Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again.
I love these stories and wish luck to all of those who try to follow the path
Great job Chuck!!!! You have helped another person back to health It's these small wins that are so inspirational to me. Thank you for persevering and continuing to create wonderful WFPB recipes!!!
So glad she got with the program 🙂
I’m hoping for a full recovery. I hope you keep us posted.
That's wonderful, Chuck! So glad that your step daughter is on her way to healing! If she has not read it, I highly recommend the book Fiber Fueled by gastroenterologist Dr. Will Bulsiewicz about a plant-based diet and the gut.
Best wishes to her and thanks for your recipes. I have been plant-based for a long time but find your recipes for refried beans and 13 bean soup to be the best.
I feel for your daughter-in-law. I too have Crohn’s tho not as severe as hers. I’ve been WFPB for 2 years, and while I am still on medication for the IBD (and several other health issues), I feel so much better. I may never be able to ditch my medications as many have been able to do, I feel I’m actively helping my body heal. Even my doctor told me that my diet is helping my medications work better. Sending hugs and healing thoughts and prayers to your daughter-in-law.
check out goodby lupus with dr brooke goldner
What a heart-warming story, thank you for sharing it! May your daughter continue on this path to good health.
I too have Crohn's & have had 2 surgeries removing 1 ft of intestine each time. I finally switched to a WFPB way of eating after my 2nd surgery & feel great! No more stomach pains - it's amazing! I hope & pray your step-daughter can heal completely & get off those damaging drugs. I appreciate you Chuck!
Greetings from the UK…. Thank you for a beautiful touching post, Never give up hope and you will find strength when you think you have none left. Stay safe….. Stay together..l
My daughter was healed of Crohns or put in remission for the past 11 years. We read the book Self-healing Crohns and Colitis. She basically went plant based with no gluten. Gluten turned out to be the culprit for her. She can’t touch it at all. So thankful for all the plant based online people like you creating amazing recipes and encouraging others. Thank you so much Chuck!
This is wonderful to have a partner for support.
Keep a food journal to pinpoint those food/medication triggers that will set off an episode. Some of my triggers are nutritional yeast, aspirin, ibuprofen, matcha tea.
Good job at being a step dad, you guys seem to be able to give us just the right amount of space but always are there for us.
Thanks for the heartwarming story Chuck. If you haven’t yet checked out Dr. Brooke Goldner’s “Goodbye Lupus” material, I highly recommend you do. She has tons of free and almost free educational material focused on auto immune disorders. http://Www.goodbyelupus.com is her website. She is also on YouTube, Goodbye Lupus channel.
Oh I know Dr. Goldner, believe me. Thanks though!